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To pervert a well known phrase: there are gaming mice and then there are gaming mice. Sure, chucking a high-dpi laser and a couple of extra buttons to your bog standard rodent might convince a few people you have the next big thing in peripheral technology, but some gamers think you need to come up with something completely different to make an impression. And it's this group of individuals that like to protest that using a standard mouse just doesn't give you that true sense of immersion needed to really get into a game.
Enter Zalman and its FPSGUN gaming mouse. The name does a good job of giving away the USP, specifically that instead of using a conventional flat-handed design, Zalman has built this mouse around a trigger grip. The end result is certainly intriguing to look at and supposedly gives the user a better level of control in first-person shooters and thus improves ones gaming ability. I'll happily confess to being something of an FPS addict (it's a health addiction though, honest) so I was interested to see whether or not Zalman really could offer be a better experience with its latest toy.
Starting with the basics, the FPSGUN is certainly a curious looking beast and after first wrenching it from its packaging and overcoming the urge to run around the office pretending to shoot everyone with accompanying Star Wars-esque ‘pew pew' noises, I thought it best to settle down to the serious business of testing. Alas, as with so many gaming mice I've seen recently, that first means the tedious installation of configuration software.
Luckily, though, the FPSGUN control panel is a pretty acceptable piece of software. Unlike the configuration suites bundled with many gaming devices, Zalman hasn't been tempted into the usual pitfall of blazoning flashing lights and bright colours all over the place and has instead adopted a simple brushed-steel look and even manages to put all the various options, such as button configuration and sensitivity, under intuitively named tabs. The only bugbear is the Updates tab which actually just takes you to the Zalman website, a near-unforgivable sin in my book.
Still, the mouse offers you up to five profiles to choose from, and you can vary mouse button actions and sensitivity levels between them to a reasonable degree. Speaking of sensitivity, the FPSGUN has a maximum of 2000dpi and a minimum of 400. Unlike, say, the Steel Series Ikari though, the FPSGUN doesn't allow you to vary at will between these ranges but instead has three different settings, High, Mid and Low. These are switched between by clicking a dedicated button which is conveniently in a placed to allow activation without interrupting gameplay - a small but welcome design touch.